The F4 UAE Trophy 2023, held at the Yas Marina Circuit, was a spectacular prelude to the Formula 1 season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. This event, renowned as a curtain raiser for the F4 UAE Championship, showcased a blend of home-grown and international driving talents. Over the weekend of 24-26 November, competitors engaged in two intense, 28-minute plus one-lap races.
Prema Racing, the Italian single-seater powerhouse, brought three impressive drivers to Yas Marina. Rashid Al Dhaheri, Abu Dhabi’s young sensation, arrived fresh from finishing 10th in the Italian F4 Championship and claiming third place at the Macau Grand Prix. He was joined by England's Freddie Slater, who had just celebrated his 15th birthday and was eager to overcome a technical setback experienced in Macau. Another rising star in Prema’s lineup was Alex Powell from Jamaica, a karting champion and Mercedes F1 protégé, who debuted in car racing in Italian F4.
The F4 UAE Trophy 2023 also spotlighted the Al Qubaisi sisters, Amna and Hamda, who teamed up at MP Motorsport. Having competed together in the F1 Academy series, Hamda finished third in the championship with four wins, while Amna secured two victories to place sixth. Their participation added local fervor to the event.
Xcel Motorsport, based in Dubai, fielded a diverse team including Indian racer Dion Gowda, Australian Noah Lisle, and Britain's Josh Irfan. These teammates, who competed in British F4 with Rodin Carlin, each celebrated race victories throughout the season. Federico Al Rifai from the UAE and Georgy Zhuravskiy from Kyrgyzstan, both returning to Xcel after stints in Spain, and French-Swiss newcomer Laura Villars, who debuted in car racing this year, completed the team’s lineup.
The F4 UAE Trophy 2023 also featured local talents from the Yas Heat Academy, including Keanu Al Azhari, who leveraged his UAE championship experience for a campaign in Spain, and karting graduate Zack Scoular.
The Rodin Carlin team from the UK added to the international flavor, bringing in Jessica Edgar, a British driver who competed against the Al Qubaisi sisters in the F1 Academy.
This thrilling event at Yas Marina Circuit for the F4 UAE Trophy 2023 was more than a race; it was a celebration of emerging talents in motorsport. With experienced drivers and exciting newcomers, the event provided exhilarating entertainment for the Grand Prix audience. The action-packed weekend began with a 45-minute free practice session, followed by qualifying rounds, and culminated in two dynamic races, setting a high standard for the upcoming F4 UAE Championship. The F4 UAE Trophy 2023 at Yas Marina was a testament to the growing allure and competitiveness of junior single-seater racing on a global stage.